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Floyd County Revokes 2 Members of Veterans Group

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - Floyd County officials have revoked the appointments of two members of its veterans affairs commission.
    
The Floyd County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to remove Ron Munshower and Sandra Paul from the Floyd County Veterans Affairs Commission because of alleged violations to the state's open meetings law.
    
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/QFOCc2 ) a former commissioner filed a complaint about Munshower and Paul in March to the Iowa Public Information Board.
    
Supervisors Chairman Roy Schwickerath says the commission was not specific about agenda items, and items were not posted in a timely manner. He says Munshower and Paul later voted not to follow recommendations to make them more specific.
    
The commission oversees the county's veterans office, which helps with various programs.

Iowa Senate Renews Effort to Legalize Medical Marijuana

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A renewed effort to legalize the use of marijuana to treat chronic epilepsy has won support in the Legislature.
    
A three-member subcommittee, then the full Senate Ways and Means Committee, approved a measure Wednesday that would allow the medical use of oil derived from marijuana as a last-resort treatment for chronic epilepsy. It is now eligible for floor debate.
    
The form of marijuana that would be legalized cannot be smoked and doesn't create a high, and could only be obtained in another state that produces the oil.
    
Efforts by women who have children with epilepsy changed some lawmakers' views on the issue and sparked a revival of a bill previously believed to be dead. New policy measures cannot be brought up late in the session unless legislative leaders sponsor them.

North Iowa Area Police Officer Suffers Accidental Gun Shot Wound

Officer Al Brandt wounded in his hand - MGN

HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - A northern Iowa police officer is recovering from hand surgery following an accidental shooting at a gun range.

The Hampton Police Department says the accident occurred last week during night handgun qualification. The department says one of the officers had a weapon malfunction. Firearms instructor Al Brandt, a Hampton officer, tried to clear the malfunction but the gun fired, and one of his hands was struck.

The department says Brandt is recovering at home after surgery at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in Mason City.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is investigating the accident as part of standard procedure.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.)

Burn Unit Sees More Accidents From Anhydrous Ammonia

Anhydrous Ammonia is used to fertilize corn fields - Photo Courtesy NRCS

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Doctors at the University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center say they are worried by a spike in injuries from anhydrous ammonia, a chemical used to fertilize corn crops.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the center usually sees one or two cases of burns in a year. In 2014, there have been at least five cases in a matter of weeks.

Medical personnel say there's no clear reason for the jump in cases, which have been farm- or industrial-related accidents. Officials say people familiar with the chemical can sometimes become lax with following safety precautions.

Alice Fagin, a surgeon at the UI burn center, says people need to be careful with the fertilizer.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.) 

<div> June Trial Set For Mason City Abandonment Case</div>

mgn online -

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A June trial has been scheduled for a Rudd woman accused of abandoning residents during an early morning shift at a Mason City assisted living center.

Online court records say 54-year-old Debra Ihrig has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges: six counts of neglect or abandonment of a dependent person; nine counts of wanton neglect of a dependent adult; and theft.

Ihrig is accused of leaving 15 residents alone on April 5 at County Meadow Place Assisted Living. She was the only staff person on duty during those hours.

Her trial is scheduled to begin on June 10.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Cities Helping Residents Deal With Frozen Pipe Costs

(ABC 6 News) -- Although the weather is getting warmer, many are still dealing with the fallout from frozen water pipes this winter.

But now more local towns are trying to help.

While temperatures have been above freezing every day since April 1st, one woman in Austin told ABC 6 she just got her water back on this past Wednesday.

But in Osage, Iowa, the city has decided to pay the difference on anyone's bill that was significantly higher than normal because they left their water running to avoid frozen pipes.

And for the small number of people who had their lines freeze up and needed to call a plumber or hook up to a neighbor, the city will pay half the service cost and all of the increase on the neighbors' bills.

City leaders said they just felt like it was the right thing to do.

Central Iowa branded as "Cultivation Corridor"

MGN Online -

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State and local economic development officials in central Iowa have come up with a brand name and logo for the region in an effort to create an identity similar to that of Silicon Valley in California.
    
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Gov. Terry Branstad were among the dignitaries at the unveiling of the "Cultivation Corridor" branding of an area within a 60-mile radius of Des Moines.
    
The idea is to focus attention on the marketing of agribusiness, biotechnology and renewable fuel products.
    
Iowa State University President Stephen Leath helped lead the 3-year process of identifying concepts and coming up with the idea.
    
He says the primary goals are to attract and retain top quality workers in agriculture biosciences, expand job creation, and create a ripple effect in the economy statewide.